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Publication Detail
Enhancement of cyanobacterial growth by riverine particulate material
© 2019 Elsevier B.V. Particulate material plays a major role in the transport of sparingly soluble nutrients such as P and Fe in natural surface waters. Microbes might gain access to these nutrients either indirectly through particulate dissolution or directly through microbial attack. As such, it seems reasonable to expect a link between the particulate material concentration and bacterial growth in natural surface waters. To explore this link, a series of microcosm growth experiments were performed in the presence of a typical freshwater cyanobacteria, Synechococcus sp., grown in dilute BG-11 culture media in the presence and absence of basaltic and continental riverine particulate material. Results demonstrate that riverine particulates can increase bacterial biomass by 1) triggering bacterial growth in otherwise unfavourable conditions, 2) increasing total maximum biomass concentration, and 3) inducing bacteria growth during the post-exponential phase. These effects are found to be enhanced by increasing particulate concentration. Results also indicate a positive feedback between the nutrient release from the particulates and growing bacteria, where dissolving particulates enhance bacterial growth, which further promotes particulate dissolution by altering fluid pH. Microscopic analysis showed direct physical contact between particulates and cyanobacteria, suggesting that bacteria attach directly on mineral surfaces to gain required nutrients. Furthermore, frequent bacteria clusters were observed associated with particulates, indicating an increasing aggregation of bacteria in the presence of particulate material, which may facilitate a higher burial efficiency of organic carbon.
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